Need help with diagnosis: EM or CRPS, or?

Hello all,

I have symptoms that suggest both EM and CRPS. My Neurologist thinks EM, the Vascular doctor thinks CRPS, and wants me to get a sympathetic nerve block next to spine. I have had peripheral neuropathy, and in addition, my right foot gets bright red when lowered to floor. It lightens when supported higher. It is always slightly swollen, the skin and tendons are tight (toes are kept curled up. Bottom of foot is swollen, and foot feels misshapen. Burning pain comes and goes, and moves from top of foot to toes, to bottom. I also have sharp jabbing pains in toes and various parts of foot. These do not coincides with variations in burning and I assume they are neuropathic, although they are most severe on afflicted foot. The redness, purple blotches, small red spots, tightness of skin, suggest CRPS, but I had no injury at the onset of the foot trouble. My foot gets warm, but unlike most EM testimonials, cold water is more painful and I can tolerate warm showers. The 80 degree pool I exercise in is perfect for the foot. It is not too sensitive to touch; I can caress the foot when the pain flares up, and that stops the jabbing sometimes. Maybe it doesn't matter which diagnosis I get; looks like no cures except nature's. I hope I don't have CRPS, as they say it progresses and gets quite debilitating. I feel very grateful that I don't have it as bad as many who post on this and the CRPS forum! My heart goes out to all!

Thanks for reading!

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Hi Sammy, I am amazed that the 80 degrees pool actually helps, you can also tolerate warm showers and cold water is more painful. I know you say you would rather it be EM, but to me it sounds as though it isn't EM as no way would you be able to cope with warm temperatures and certainly cooling should help not hinder.

As you quite rightly say, it doesn't really matter which it is as there is no cure for either of them, all we can do is hope to get some relief from our symptoms. I haven't been diagnosed with EM yet, but I am sure it is that. What I would say and I am sure a lot of people will agree is being able to confirm an illness and put a name to it instead of wondering what it is goes a long way to coping with it. That has certainly been the case with me with other things I have had wrong, the worst part is going through all the tests and wondering what on earth is wrong. Even dreadful things like cancer are easier to come to terms with it when you know the prognosis. I will never forget a lady many years ago who had bone cancer, a dreadful form of cancer, but she was so cheerful once diagnosed and she said to me that it was not knowing that was far worse.

In conclusion I hope you find out which it is and be able to deal with the symptoms.

I am kinda like this mine has spread and all of me hurts

I agree with Sheltie - I can't tolerate anything warm on my hands/feet - doesn't matter where the warmth comes from - temperature, sunrays, water, a handshake, massage, closed shoes......

Hi again. Weekend before last I woke with my foot in agony about3 in the morning wanted to scream,the ankle was swelled and very inflammed so strapped it up which helped the swelling.Went to the doc the Monday she said my temp was up a bit and my pulse was faster thrn normal,gave me some naproxan for five days which did help the inflammation also keeping foot strapped and higher in bed took down the swelling.I thought good this is going. But two nights ago the outer ankle bone started to itch and was very inflammed got about 3 hrs sleep this also happened last night same again hardly no sleep, got up and sat down putting cold wet wipes all over foot as the whole foot was inflammed as well as the ankle and a little up my leg,the itching driving me nuts. the stupid thing is where as before putting my leg up helped it is now the opposite,put my leg on the floor and it goes. Tried to see doc again today s,but no appointments with any of the 6 doctors till monday so seeing a nurse.I have EM but there was no burning.So does anyone know is this associated with EM? Thanks for reading xxxx

Hi snowdragon, I know it's supposed to be better with feet up, but I am worse with feet up. I known why though and this might be the case with you. Sorry, I can't remember what else is going on with your health but can I ask do you have poor circulation in your legs? If you do then if its the arterial side rather than the venous side that is the problem then they would be better feet down as it helps to get the blood down. People keep telling me to put my feet up, but I know I am worse then e.g. lying in bed is far worse than sitting with my feet down.


Thanks for your reply! I'm beginning to think I have a strange form of small fiber neuropathy, and not exactly EM or CRPS. Maybe I'll name it "Sammy's syndrome". I am grateful that I can get along as well as I can. It does not seem to be progressing, and although I can't take much stepping on the foot, I get around pretty well with crutches and a wheelchair. When flaring, I soak it in room temp Epson's salts, then give it a coat of "Diabetic Neuropathy Cream" from Amazon. This reduces the pain, and a mild compression sock makes it feel even better.

P.S. I think Shelties are great!